Should we FEAR the words in the August Delta SKY Magazine? Probably!

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, visit this page.
 
all 3 delta amex cards what is best card for you to hold

 

sky magazine in delta air lines seatback pocket

There are a bunch of things we are looking forward to this fall travel season including Delta at long last catching up to the competition and allowing us to pre-select our 1st class meals. Next on deck, the implementation of the outstanding change with your +1 enjoying your status upgrade priority on most paid tickets. Then, just weeks away now, or specifically September 21st, the grand public opening of the brand new Delta Sky Club in Atlanta in the B concourse. All really good and exciting stuff.

What is probably much less good news is what you see hiding behind the safety card in the photo above that is the soon to be discarded, the  August SKY Magazine that you can read online if you would like to see what I am talking about (as well as the new one for September).

What I am in fear of is a tiny intro piece entitled “Rewarding Loyalty” from the Delta CEO and the head of the SkyMiles program. Let’s look at the most disturbing parts. Sandeep Dube said:

“…we continue to add new ways for customers to use miles”.

Yes. We know all about those. Like the new ways to flush the value of SkyMiles down the drain buying drinks in the Sky Clubs. But to be fair they have offered nice priced awards like 5k one way flights.

award seats to atl from chicago sept 2016

5k One-Way is nice but…

They are even just about wide open if you want to fly down from Chicago to Atlanta to check out the new Sky Club B at the end of next month. But while 5k awards are appreciated look at the one way purchase price in cash.

price to buy a ticket chicago to atl sept 2016

So while 5k sounds amazing for an award, when you can buy the same one way ticket for ~$83 you are only getting about 1.66 cents value. Decent value, but not amazing. If Delta were charging 12,500 miles for this then THAT would be shameful. Hopefully you see my point.

Let’s get back to the article. In the conversation they go on to point out the “we” think SkyMiles is “too complex”. Maybe it is. Maybe that is because Delta hides the award charts so the complexity comes in when we are trying to find out if we are getting value from some trip by simply comparing it to the award charts that Delta does in fact use but hides from us. Want to make it simple Delta, just republish your award charts. This is not that hard. But look what Sandeep Dube says later on:

“…our focus will be on simplifying SkyMiles and making it easier to interact with it through enhanced functionality.”

Ruh Roh, folks. This is not good! As we all know anytime an airline uses the word “enhance” in any fashion it should make us quake in fear because this is airline code for a devaluation. And when Delta talks about simplifying it normally means the value of our SkyMiles is about to go down. Lastly when they say “making it easier to interact” that to me means it will be simpler to drain our points in one single booking. You should fear this – I do!

It may just be a matter of time before Delta truly goes all fixed value redemption for SkyMiles. A Flyer Talker this past week found what could be a bug or could be some bit of code that should not have been loaded in on Delta.com (we are talking Delta IT here after all). Personally I think fixed value redemption is on the way and when that happens SkyMiles simply becomes a glorified rebate program. That will be really simple math.

After all, SkyMiles today is no longer a FFP it is a FBP. Translation – it is no longer a Frequent Flyer Program it is a Frequent Buyer Program since you are rewarded for ticket price not how frequently you fly. Once the redemption becomes fixed the destruction transformation of the program will be complete.

c1 spark cash

That will truly be a sad day. What will be the reason to actually collect SkyMiles if they are worth say a fixed value of 1 cent or 1.5 cents each when cash back from Capital One  BANK   business card can earn you 2% all the time and no strings attached. That is VERY simple to me.

price to buy biz to sweden summer 2017

Too rich for my blood! You?

Personally I like the idea of getting real value of redeeming 125k SkyMiles to fly business class round trip to visit my family in Sweden next summer. I would not, however, like the idea of spending 2-3x that much at a fixed point value redemption.

But is this final change really going to happen anytime soon? We clearly do not know and Delta is not about to tell us. They are kinda funny that way and prefer to just let us find out when the changes are in place. My hope is they have looked at the numbers as we just have and can see the writing on the wall that such a final fixed price move will cost them and their partners. While the current system is “complex” it still retains real value.

Simple, with no value, is not simple at all. Agree? – René

 

(HT to @laptoptraval on twitter)

AeroMexico Regional ERJ-190 MEX-SDQ-MEX – An AeroMexico Mileage Run in Business Class

Overview & Some Important Tips AeroMexico 737-800 MCO-MEX The AeroMexico Skyteam lounge MEX Regional ERJ-190 MEX-SDQ-MEX AeroMexico 737-700 MCO-MEX Totals and results (was it worth it)? It’s funny – for the most part I really like Delta regional partners. No, not the EVIL CRJ200s as they are so bad it makes me miss the old NWA SAAB turbo props. But I did have high hopes for the AeroMexico regional partner ride to and from Santo … Continue reading

Delta could learn from KLM in offering discounts to general SkyMiles members

Much like Delta, being at the lowest KLM elite level doesn’t offer all that much. You are not going to get many Skyteam elite+ perks that Golds and higher do get on a reciprocal basis. But what about the level below Silver elites with the Flying Blue program? Unlike Delta, that just calls everyone in the program “general member”, KLM assigns them a title, that is, an Ivory member. And there is more than just … Continue reading

Are you planning NOW for your year end Delta MQM elite totals? What status do you want for 2017?

This week I have started to turn my attention back to the mileage run blog and I have to tell you there have been some block buster HUB deals I have pieced together this month. I am going to do my best over the last few months of 2016 to find as many as I can from all over and that includes the major Delta hubs. The real importance of looking at this NOW rather … Continue reading

APPROVED! Chase Sapphire Reserve Card w/ Known 5/24 Workaround – 100,000 Points!

YES! I don’t mind telling you am more that just a little bit giddy. I REALLY wanted to get this Chase    BANK    Sapphire Reserve card approved, but since I go for 3-5 new cards about every 91+ day of my life I saw very little hope of an approval. I was considering upgrading from another card like the Chase Freedom card I hold but that would mean no 100k bonus points. So, as I recommend … Continue reading

45,000 Points! – Once again IHG sucked me in for the IHG Accelerate Fall Promo

I have to say this “free agent” thing is really working out for me this year after giving up my loyalty to SPG (as I don’t want to be Marriott’ed one day). Last year I would have always always always booked an SPG stay even if it was a little more expensive than other hotels. I did this because I really liked the SPG loyalty program and I rewarded them with my hotel stay dollars. … Continue reading

What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Reserve Personal Card?

What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the GOLD Personal Card? What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Platinum Personal Card? What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Reserve Personal Card? To me, for most Delta flyers, THIS is THE only card you should consider. That is, if you fly Delta on any kind of regular or even semi regular basis. … Continue reading

Rookie Wednesday: When should you visit Sweden? What is so different about Sweden?

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature. This November I will have been blogging for 5 years and by then the blog will have been viewed over 7 million … Continue reading

Ten Things Delta Needs to Change to Keep Customer Complaints From Climbing.

After the Delta meltdown this month, as well as so many other customer unfriendly and frustrating changes, it is time to, as they say, mend some fences and there are a number of things that really need attention. Most of them are truly not “that” hard to fix either. Well, some may take more doing than others but see if you (and Delta) don’t agree that these would be some changes that would stem customer … Continue reading

100,000 point Chase Sapphire Reserve, Net FREE Ultimate Rewards points, SPG daily contest & more!

Points, points, points. So many points. There has been so much going on that it is hard to keep up. The first massive news is both amazing and super disappointing. Let me put this simply that the 100,000 points (after spend) Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the if not the best travel card period. The problem is if you have applied for more than 5 credit cards (any, not just from Chase) you … Continue reading

I love this BRILLIANT simple Delta frequent flyer travel tip – What are your favorite ones?

My-new-phone-lock-screen-with-skymiles-number-bar-code-768x1221 2

All it takes is to take a good idea and tweak it for it to become a brilliant idea. For example, I have already mentioned how life altering it is with CLEAR to no longer have to get out my ID but the problem is they are not at most airports (yet) and the same goes for Mobile Passport. But notice what you see above. That is my phone lock screen with a simple bar … Continue reading

What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the PLATINUM Personal Card?

What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the GOLD Personal Card? What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Platinum Personal Card? What is the Best Delta AMEX card for Flyers? Is it the Reserve Personal Card? If I had no status with Delta, and I chose Delta as my airline to fly only a few times a year, this would be the card I would hold … Continue reading

My Delta Million Miler flight – Final thoughts of reaching one million miles with Delta Air Lines

My Delta Million Miler flight – The planning & start of the run to Japan My Delta Million Miler flight – TSA at Chicago O’Hare ORD Airport My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta 777 Delta One Business class review to Japan NRT Narita Airport My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Gogo International Satellite Speed Review My Delta Million Miler flight – 2016 Delta One TUMI Amenity Kit Black and Gray Review My Delta … Continue reading

AeroMexico Skyteam Lounge Review Mexico City Airport MEX – An AeroMexico Mileage Run in Business Class

Overview & Some Important Tips AeroMexico 737-800 MCO-MEX The AeroMexico Skyteam lounge MEX Regional ERJ-190 MEX-SDQ-MEX AeroMexico 737-700 MCO-MEX Totals and results (was it worth it)? When you land after 10 PM at night at most airports you have few choices of lounges, but the AeroMexico Skyteam (and others like Priority Pass that you can get from cards like the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card) is open until 1:AM. Once you clear security look for the … Continue reading

Delta ONE SkyMiles awards to Europe SALE as low as 102,000 SkyMiles round trip (coach at 49k)! ~20% off!

THIS is what I have been asking Delta for – I just wish they were not shutting off the tap early in April. But, anytime we can fly in business class on Delta for just over 50k each way I am not one to complain about roughly 20% off LEVEL 1 pricing. Here are the details of the offer on Delta.com: Round-trip Award Tickets starting at 49,000 miles plus taxes and fees on select flights … Continue reading